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Published: June 24, 2016 at 10:52 a.m.
Updated: June 27, 2016 at 10:59 a.m.

Fantasy Stock Watch

We've reached Trope Season in the NFL. It's the time when every player is in the best shape of his life and every team looks like a contender. That means wading through a lot of muck to find the truth behind whose stock is up and whose stock is down. But that's what we do here at NFL Fantasy. Because we love you. Just remember that when the holidays roll around.

10 Photos Total

  • Pete Carroll is one of the chief smokescreeners out there but when he says Wilson has "made a clear step ahead," it's worth paying attention to. DangeRuss was arguably the hottest quarterback on Earth toward the end of the regular season last year. Now that the Seahawks are trending away from a run-based offense, this looks like the year that Wilson truly spreads his wings. He's already looking like the third-best quarterback in fantasy, but maybe now he jumps into the top two. Crazier things have happened. 10

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

    Pete Carroll is one of the chief smokescreeners out there but when he says Wilson has "made a clear step ahead," it's worth paying attention to. DangeRuss was arguably the hottest quarterback on Earth toward the end of the regular season last year. Now that the Seahawks are trending away from a run-based offense, this looks like the year that Wilson truly spreads his wings. He's already looking like the third-best quarterback in fantasy, but maybe now he jumps into the top two. Crazier things have happened.

  • Yes, I know ... last year we all drove the Abdullah hype train and it didn't quite make it into the station. That doesn't mean we've given up on the young running back. The Lions are going to give him every opportunity to be the team's workhorse. After a struggle to start the season, Abdullah posted a 4.7 yards per carry average after Week 9. The biggest upside is that you'll be able to snag him in the middle rounds and possibly enjoy early-round production. 9

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

    Yes, I know ... last year we all drove the Abdullah hype train and it didn't quite make it into the station. That doesn't mean we've given up on the young running back. The Lions are going to give him every opportunity to be the team's workhorse. After a struggle to start the season, Abdullah posted a 4.7 yards per carry average after Week 9. The biggest upside is that you'll be able to snag him in the middle rounds and possibly enjoy early-round production.

  • Ajayi is likely to be on a value seesaw all summer long. On the surface, it appears that he's going to be the Dolphins primary running back. But reports that he hasn't looked like <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2016/06/signs-of-progress-but-accuracy-still-a-work-in-progress-for-tannehill-dolphins-post-minicamp-nuggets.html" target="_blank">"a natural pass-catcher,"</a> aren't going to instill a lot of confidence -- especially in Adam Gase's offense that emphasizes more route running by the backs. If Ajayi can master that skill, his value is likely to skyrocket. Until then, there's reason to exercise caution. 8

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

    Ajayi is likely to be on a value seesaw all summer long. On the surface, it appears that he's going to be the Dolphins primary running back. But reports that he hasn't looked like "a natural pass-catcher," aren't going to instill a lot of confidence -- especially in Adam Gase's offense that emphasizes more route running by the backs. If Ajayi can master that skill, his value is likely to skyrocket. Until then, there's reason to exercise caution.

  • There was always reason to fear any talk that Doug Martin could once again be a top-10 fantasy running back in 2016. That fear should grow with talk that Charles Sims is pushing for a larger role in the offense. Sims showed last season that he could be productive and now he's angling to eat into Martin's snaps and touches. Martin should still be Tampa's main running back, but this could end up being more of a committee than we may have anticipated a few months ago. 7

    Doug Martin/Associated Press

    Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    There was always reason to fear any talk that Doug Martin could once again be a top-10 fantasy running back in 2016. That fear should grow with talk that Charles Sims is pushing for a larger role in the offense. Sims showed last season that he could be productive and now he's angling to eat into Martin's snaps and touches. Martin should still be Tampa's main running back, but this could end up being more of a committee than we may have anticipated a few months ago.

  • Yet again, we wade through what could potentially be smoke (fog?) coming from Pete Carroll, but Lockett had the makings of a breakout star last season. Now with a year under his belt, the speedy receiver is looking like a legitimate starter for the 'Hawks across from Doug Baldwin. His deep speed gives him home run potential every time he steps on the field. If Seattle allows him to be more than that, Lockett is poised to be a nice sleeper pick in plenty of fantasy leagues. 6

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    Yet again, we wade through what could potentially be smoke (fog?) coming from Pete Carroll, but Lockett had the makings of a breakout star last season. Now with a year under his belt, the speedy receiver is looking like a legitimate starter for the 'Hawks across from Doug Baldwin. His deep speed gives him home run potential every time he steps on the field. If Seattle allows him to be more than that, Lockett is poised to be a nice sleeper pick in plenty of fantasy leagues.

  • At best, Blount was going to be New England's short-yardage and goal-line hammer. At worst, he was going to be an injury fill-in for Dion Lewis. But when you hear that Blount has missed all of New England's offseason workouts so far and is still dealing with his recovery from a hip injury, it's even more reason to downgrade him. For once, we might have a little bit of clarity in the Patriots backfield. It might not be the way we'd like to see it happen, but it's a welcome change nonetheless. 5

    Jim Mahoney/Associated Press

    LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

    At best, Blount was going to be New England's short-yardage and goal-line hammer. At worst, he was going to be an injury fill-in for Dion Lewis. But when you hear that Blount has missed all of New England's offseason workouts so far and is still dealing with his recovery from a hip injury, it's even more reason to downgrade him. For once, we might have a little bit of clarity in the Patriots backfield. It might not be the way we'd like to see it happen, but it's a welcome change nonetheless.

  • Yeldon's stock began to fall the minute the Jaguars signed free agent Chris Ivory. From that moment, we all knew that the very few red zone touches Yeldon saw last year would dry up completely in 2016. But things have gotten even worse for the former Alabama standout with talk that Ivory could be the team's starter in 2016. How frequently Yeldon will see the ball -- with chances to find the end zone -- is very much in doubt. Right now, there's little reason to think of Yeldon as much more than a third or fourth running back option. 4

    Greg McWilliams/Associated Press

    T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Yeldon's stock began to fall the minute the Jaguars signed free agent Chris Ivory. From that moment, we all knew that the very few red zone touches Yeldon saw last year would dry up completely in 2016. But things have gotten even worse for the former Alabama standout with talk that Ivory could be the team's starter in 2016. How frequently Yeldon will see the ball -- with chances to find the end zone -- is very much in doubt. Right now, there's little reason to think of Yeldon as much more than a third or fourth running back option.

  • Remember when I said that this time of year, everyone feels great and loves their chances? Yeah, well DeMarco Murray is telling us that he's feeling comfortable in Tennessee's offense. That's great. After a nightmarish 2015 playing in Philadelphia, it's encouraging that Murray believes he can get back to the form that helped him break out in Dallas. But consider this a tentative stock up until we see if Murray is able to separate himself from Derrick Henry in training camp. 3

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans

    Remember when I said that this time of year, everyone feels great and loves their chances? Yeah, well DeMarco Murray is telling us that he's feeling comfortable in Tennessee's offense. That's great. After a nightmarish 2015 playing in Philadelphia, it's encouraging that Murray believes he can get back to the form that helped him break out in Dallas. But consider this a tentative stock up until we see if Murray is able to separate himself from Derrick Henry in training camp.

  • Janis is the name that launched a thousand fanboy blogs. As a size-speed combination freak, Packer fans (and fantasy nerds) have been predicting a breakout for a couple of seasons. All of those folks may get their wish if Janis wins the job to be Green Bay's No. 3 wide receiver. Right now, he seems to have a leg up in that competition over the likes of Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, and Ty Montgomery. Fanboys unite! 2

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    Jeff Janis, WR, Green Bay Packers

    Janis is the name that launched a thousand fanboy blogs. As a size-speed combination freak, Packer fans (and fantasy nerds) have been predicting a breakout for a couple of seasons. All of those folks may get their wish if Janis wins the job to be Green Bay's No. 3 wide receiver. Right now, he seems to have a leg up in that competition over the likes of Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, and Ty Montgomery. Fanboys unite!

  • Just a couple of weeks ago, Goff was breathlessly telling reporters that he felt like things were slowing down for him. Maybe he was a bit premature (it had been just a couple weeks of practice, after all) since NFL Media's Steve Wyche is reporting that Goff isn't close to being ready to start Week 1 and that the Rams could go with Case Keenum for the season opener. Life comes at you fast. 1

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams

    Just a couple of weeks ago, Goff was breathlessly telling reporters that he felt like things were slowing down for him. Maybe he was a bit premature (it had been just a couple weeks of practice, after all) since NFL Media's Steve Wyche is reporting that Goff isn't close to being ready to start Week 1 and that the Rams could go with Case Keenum for the season opener. Life comes at you fast.